|THREE DRINKING SONGS
I. WINE SONG
The summer came and cloaked us in a robe
Of golden grapes with tendrils made of fire.
The winter fell and froze us in a globe
Of wishes, holding all that we desire.
But in the space between our fire and ice —
The flames of need, the stillness of content —
There moved a bridge of air that bore a price:
The ravaged vineyards everywhere we went.
I wish I was a Riesling on a vine,
That sweet canary diamond of a grape!
Above the music of the quiet Rhine,
Blonde Lorelei assumes another shape
Of clustered suns, inviting us to drown
As heat’s relentless mercy beats us down.
II. THE JUNIPER TREE
The juniper is black against the sky;
So dark an evergreen, with tears of blue.
Its berries weep in turn — and so do I,
Intoxicated by their heady dew.
But only in my thoughts will I imbibe
The brew that quells remorse in rich and poor,
For wakeful hours compel me to inscribe
Words for a tale whose end will be my cure.
What richness feeds such sweet and bitter fruit?
(I bear no other than these songs of mine.)
A murdered child lies buried at the root,
And round his brittle bones, they must entwine
Bright angel voices, calling me to take
The milk of kindness, only for your sake.
In Honor of Jim Morrison, American Poet
In many pieces shall we tear the bard
And shout with giddy voices as we fling
Into the open heart, and heavenward
A puzzle reassembled as a king.
From one, the many motes of flesh set sail,
As milkweed grains break starry from the pod;
From many, one, whose fracture is travail,
Who forms in his own image, like a god.
For him, we raise the fennel stalk on high,
The thyrsus cone, to show where he has been,
The vine, whose shape is brave against the sky,
The lamb, and then at last, the leopard skin
Of shadow-patterned consciousness that slips
Away, that we may rise and kiss his lips.